What are Wipers?

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Published: 06th February 2017
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Wipers or striped bass are hybrids, which brings up the question of what a hybrid is. Hybrids are born of two different species. While most hybrids are not fertile, this fish (also known as a Cherokee bass or Sunshine bass) is fertile. Most other hybrids are not able to reproduce. For example, hybrids of plants do not produce seeds that will grow. A horse and a donkey produce a mule, which cannot reproduce. But wipers can reproduce.

The hybrid striped bass or Cherokee bass is born with sperm from striped bass and eggs from white bass. The reason for the name Cherokee is that they were first stocked in Cherokee Lake in Tennessee. Cherokee bass or wipers have broken stripes instead of solid stripes as other bass have. Wipers can endure extremes in temperature better than its parents. It can also survive in conditions of low oxygen. It grows faster than its parents. They also are more tolerant of warmer temperatures.

They are a game fish, which means they are a fish that fisherman seek to catch. Anglers like them for the fight that they give. When fishing Cherokee bass or wipers, they are easy to see as they feed on the surface. They are a good eating fish. In some places they have been stocked to replace declining trout populations. They have been used to control shad populations. Since they eat shad, when autumn comes and shad head for creeks, fishermen often line up to fish for the wipers that are feeding on the shad.

These fish are also raised domestically for food. The weight of these fish ranges from two to five pounds or ten pounds. The record is 27 pounds, 5 ounces. Wipers were developed in the mid-1960ís. They became an actual part of the aquaculture in the 1980ís. An important usage of this fish is the raising of them for restaurants. When bass is listed on the menu in a restaurant, it often is this hybrid striped bass.

Where do wipers live? They live in slow moving streams, ponds, lakes, and large reservoirs. They are usually not found among dense weed growth in shallow areas. They like open waters, and waters beneath dams. They may stay hidden in downed trees, rocky structures, and over-hanging limbs. They are more active at dusk and dawn. When in the wild, they feed off of fathead minnows, bluegill sunfish, shad, and black crappie.

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